Leadership Studies Ed.D. Dissertations


The Impact of Mentoring on African American Males' Ability to Overcome "Perceived Effects of" Sterotype Threat

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Leadership Studies

First Advisor

Judy Jackson May (Advisor)

Second Advisor

Louis Katzner (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Priscilla Jenkins (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Kristina LaVenia (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Patrick Pauken (Committee Member)


This multiple case study design utilized undergraduate African American male students to examine the perceived impact of mentoring on the effects of stereotype threat. According to Steele and Aronson (1995) stereotype threat refers to a concept that one's behavior pattern confirms a stereotype linked to a particular group identity. Historically, African American males have been subjected to negative societal stereotypes, which are represented, perpetuated, and portrayed through every sector of society. Research shows that this phenomenon impacts the academic achievement of African American males (Steele and Aronson, 1995).

This examination queried African American males enrolled in Lehman College’s Urban Male Leadership Program (UMLP), a mentoring program to assist in their successful matriculation. The research was guided by the following questions: (a) How do African American males describe the effects of stereotype threat and its impact on their academic and social being? (b) How do African American males describe the role mentoring has played in negotiating the challenges of overcoming the effects of stereotype threat? and (c) How do African American males describe the role mentoring plays in their academic achievement?

The findings revealed four thematic domains: (a) the benefits of having a person in your corner, (b) there is nothing that I cannot do, (c) education is integral to success, and (d) stereotyping is to be expected. These emergent themes allowed the researcher to develop a tool kit of strategies to assist leaders in the development of more effective mentoring programs for students in overcoming the effects of stereotype threat.